A Spot Of Snow
We had a little bitty ole snow yesterday that brought northern Alabama to its knees. The appearance of a snowflake immediately causes two things: mass carnage on the streets because drivers skid out of control on the snowflake when it lands and the rest of the drivers run into each other while staring at the snowflake as it is falling down, and a run on the grocery stores for milk and bread.
I have never figured out milk and bread. The bread, OK, it’s fairly nonperishable and can be used to make cold sandwiches, but the milk? If your power goes out, it’s a goner. And you can’t eat milk, I’m fairly certain, unless you freeze it. Maybe that’s the rationale.
Within a couple of hours of the snow beginning to fall and sticking a little on the streets (and let me say, people, it was above freezing all day – most everything melted immediately when it fell) people were skidding and wrecking all over the place. The major interstate that runs up north Alabama (I-65) had come to a complete standstill in both directions. People were off in ditches. Trucks were jackknifed onto the road. The major highways fared similarly. Our ultrasound tech headed for home and turned around in defeat because the roads were “glare ice.” She came back and slept at the hospital that night. Others took four or more hours to get home, as they had to wait for wrecks to clear and timidly limp their way up and down hills with a little wet snow on them.
The schools were immediately canceled. Parents were notified that school was over at one-thirty and we had to have everyone picked up. People were getting their kids and bringing them back to work with them since no work had let out. The schools also had delayed openings for two hours in the morning, thus messing up further workdays. And all this for less than an inch of snow that melted within a couple hours!
Multitudes of our patients called and canceled their appointments. They were scared to drive in the snow and they were all stuck with their kids. And yet, we had to sit around at the clinic until the last patient was seen at five o’clock. They didn’t have the decency to ALL cancel.
My daughter came home to my husband and played in snow that was so shallow you could see the grass under it. She still insisted on trying to make a snow ball. She would have tried to make a snowman but that was impossible. Pictures immediately popped up all over Facebook of families playing in “the big snow”. Snow was scraped up to make tiny snowmen. Tiny snowball fights were had. Some areas did get more snow than others, I’ll admit, but it never dipped below freezing. The main concern, as far as I was concerned, was that it had been raining for three days before the snow came down, and there were floods and the roads were wet. But since it never got below freezing…
We got not a morsel of snow in the downtown area where I work. I was seeing snow pictures all over Facebook, but there was not a drop near the hospital. Not a flake in the air, not a flake on the ground. It was all very disappointing. We got a tiny amount of snow at the house, but it was all melted by the time I drove home at five o’clock. My husband sent me a text with a picture of our daughter out playing in the “snow”. We must have been the laughingstock of the northern states. I was thinking about my impending trip to North Dakota and rolling my eyes imagining what the North Dakotans were thinking about the little Alabamians paralyzed by a little snow. It was really rather embarassing, as it always is when we are paralyzed by snow. In our defense, our communities own no equipment to remove snow, so the roads really can become a little dicey. By this morning, there was not a trace of the snow to be seen. But the schools still opened two hours late.
All day at work, the topic of conversation was the snow and how awful the roads were. My morning surgery got canceled because a pipe burst in the OR, for which I was eternally grateful because I got to sleep an extra hour and a half. I swear, we’d better not get any more snow or it’ll shut the whole state down. Having come from healthy Nebraska stock, I am a little embarassed at living in an area where we can get shut down by a few flakes of snow like that. Just wait til I get to North Dakota! The stories I’ll have to tell!